In Fine Forum? | KCET
In Fine Forum?
Though the Lakers left, the city still had the Forum, a circular Roman-style arena that at least visually was and is still pretty fabulous. Many locals, myself included, have a daily ritual of walking or jogging around the place, and its vast parking lot has long been a big meetup spot for motorcycle clubs and the like. It's got drama, if nothing else. The Forum was bought by the local aspiring megachurch Faithful Central Bible Church; the big question in 2000 was whether a church could successfully run a big entertainment venue when it wasn't actually holding services there on Sunday.
The answer ten years later is, not really. Faithful Central got the Forum for a relatively cheap price in 2000, but part of the deal was an arrangement with booking giant AEG--which also booked the Staples Center-- that pretty much locked the Forum out of getting the most popular acts and events coming through town. And from the beginning, the church struggled with a cash flow problem that depressed any ambition it may have had to transform the Forum and its modest legend into an economic hub for Inglewood itself (though I have to say, in the 33 years that the Lakers were here, Inglewood never seemed to capitalize on the potential that represented. The most significant and enduring economic development around the Forum is a Sizzler restaurant across the street). There is hope--theoretically. The new mega-development being planned for Hollywood Park once the track shuts down could lift the adjacent Forum's fortunes, though I'm not really sure how. My biggest fear is that the Forum will at some point be razed as a sacrifice to the gods of profit, or worse, to just breaking even. Then Inglewood will be poor in a way it's never had to imagine.